Get your veterinary team members ahead of the learning curve


Train new employees-or get your team on the same page-with expectation logs. Hint: Team members, you can master your skills to position yourself for a raise.

Do you have a training plan for new team members? Does it need updating? Here's help. To build a team of well-trained employees you need clear expectations. Whether you're training a new employee or you're the new person joining a practice, an expectation log can ease the transition. Expectation logs help team members learn to meet the practice's goals.

Lost in a training loop?

Start by outlining a training program in your practice handbook to go with an expectation log that details what you want new hires to master in an allotted amount of time. In addition to skills, you may also choose to train and test on current services and products. And don't forget to plan a 90-day evaluation to monitor progress.

If you're looking to accelerate your career, you can also use the expectation log to demonstrate your skills, push for new training and show how you're an asset to your team. It helps justify an increase in pay or benefits, not to mention the empowerment you will feel. This is another way to make sure that merit, not just seniority, is part of your practice's compensation.

Circle up your team

When you introduce an expectation log, explain that it's a tool designed to help team members reach the goals you set. Your logs will be different for every department. And once team members complete the logs, your training will focus on practice excellence.

If you can maximize the work ethic of your new team members with a tailored learning curve and a welcoming environment, they're more likely to become a permanent, positive part of your practice. Making continuing education and cross-training a long-term goal for all team members keeps everyone at the top of their game. So take time to create an ongoing knowledge center to help everyone be their best. When your team members can offer all of their knowledge, they feel good about their work and stay ahead of the curve.

Mandy Stevenson, RVT, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a technician in Creighton, Mo.

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